by Jonathan Jones
Successful companies embrace and incorporate a wide variety of resources to engage their employees both inside and outside of their businesses. Often, in troubled companies, employees are obsessed about territories and have inter-departmental squabbles, and the constant internal conflict detracts from the corporate mission, efficiencies, and inevitably customer service and retention.
Look to the external community to keep your company fresh. I suggest budgeting time and money for leaders to leverage some of the following resources to improve the organization. During the pandemic, most of the forums listed below have discovered ways to connect virtually, allowing faster connectivity with less cost.
Trade associations – encourage collaborative networking and insight into your industry. By building relationships and friendships with peers in the industry, employees grow in knowledge and connectedness.
Training/technical courses – help update skills and set employees up to achieve their next promotions.
Conferences – inspire staff with new ideas. Strategically determine which conferences are a good fit (or solicit employees for their input). Good conferences inspire and develop growth.
Local business community gatherings – encourage networking with other organizations. Success breeds success. Ideas and connections can often bring new opportunities or sales referrals.
Local and regional chambers of commerce – connect people. Engaging with the community increases the connectedness of your people and their community.
Professional peer groups - develop innovative solutions to business challenges by sharing experiences and expertise in a confidential environment with similar career growth and achievement levels. Such groups offer business and leadership education through confidential forums.
People who are connected and continue to grow consistently outperform those who do not. Continuing growth is good business.
Jonathan Jones (Jonathan.email@example.com or 314-608-0783) is a CEO peer group chair/coach for Vistage International.